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AutoCAD vs. AutoCAD Architecture | Know the Difference

In a previous post, we talked about the differences between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. Depending on your needs, you may require more features within AutoCAD (ACAD) specific to architecture, design & documentation. AutoCAD Architecture (ACA), which is one of the vertical products available with AutoCAD Including Specialized Toolsets, has all of the same functionality as AutoCAD, plus the addition of tools designed for Architects to enhance the workflow of construction documentation. Since all AutoCAD functionality is available within AutoCAD Architecture, you get more in almost every way*.

*AutoCAD is available for MAC, whereas AutoCAD Architecture and all other products in the Specialized Toolset only have compatibility with Windows.

2D Drawing vs. 3D Modeling vs. BIM

AutoCAD is used to convey design intent, by utilizing Lines, Arcs, and Circles, to illustrate the design.  In AutoCAD Architecture, lines, arcs, and circles are complemented by intelligent walls, doors, and windows, known as AEC Objects. These intelligent objects give the designer the ability to manipulate building elements at a higher level, far beyond what Dynamic Blocks have traditionally offered.

NOTE: AEC Objects are not backwards compatible, and just because you can save back an AutoCAD DWG file from 2018 format to 2013 format, you cannot save back AutoCAD Architecture components.

These AEC Objects have hints of Building Information Modeling (BIM) which has become the standard for larger government and institutional projects. Autodesk Revit is a BIM authoring software that uses a standardized hierarchy of objects (Category, Family, Type, Instance) allowing the designer to build a 3D model at a higher level. Some may consider a project created in AutoCAD Architecture to be BIM, but this requires strict drafting and CAD Management standards to ensure. Even if it is not BIM, there are productivity studies indicating that AutoCAD Architecture can save up to 60% of the time vs. regular AutoCAD, which is a significant value proposition. Take a look at the potential time savings for all AutoCAD verticals, including 85% productivity gain with AutoCAD MEP, and 95% gain with AutoCAD Electrical!

Higher-Level Design

It can be a difficult task for drafters to ensure that a change to an element in plan view (like a door or a window), is updated across all relevant sections and elevations. In AutoCAD Architecture, elements such as walls, doors, and windows mimic real-world behavior and construction. So, you can insert doors or windows into your wall, and when you change the location or Style of object, you may update this same object in other drawings where it is shown. You can also modify all objects of that Style, meaning if you insert a certain style of window 50 times into several different walls, but want to update the style, you can modify it once and it updates every object; a huge time-saver!

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Tip for Using AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT for the Mac Platform

Autodesk provides many native Mac products for 3D modeling, CAD, rendering, animation, VFX, and digital imagery.

Over here at Microsol Resources, we field this inquiry often. We researched and can confirm that if you have a 2012 (or later) version of Autodesk AutoCAD or Autodesk AutoCAD LT software, but have a preference or requirement for the Mac platform, you are able to run the software on a Mac platform without having to submit a request or require any processing time.

You are entitled to cross-licensing between products of the same version year. AutoCAD can be installed and activated on Windows or Mac OS X with the same serial number and product keys two times in a 12-month period. The two activations can either be two Windows activations, two Mac OS X activations, or one Windows activation plus one Mac OS X activation.

Please note that cross-platform for Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk AutoCAD LT may only available for the 2015 and newer versions of Autodesk Desktop Subscription licenses.

 

Read on to learn how:

 

1. By simply downloading the Mac platform and inputting your existing Serial Number and Product Key associated with the PC platform you can run the software as a Mac.  

You can locate your Autodesk AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT Serial Number and Product Key within your Autodesk Account.  If you are not sure how to do it, you can read our blog post on How to locate your Product Serial Numbers/Product Keys in your Autodesk Account.

You can locate download links if you don’t already have the Mac platform of your Autodesk AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT product by visiting Autodesk Virtual Agent.

 

2. To download Autodesk for Mac software within Autodesk Virtual Agent:

  • Click to access Autodesk Virtual Agent
  • Click on the “Download Link”
  • Browse to  “Mac Products”
  • Select “AutoCAD”
  • Select “AutoCAD for Mac 201x

The download will automatically start and you should be all set to continue onto the install process!

 

While Inventor or Revit does not currently have a native Macintosh version, you can still install Revit and Inventor on a Mac in virtualized environments including Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion.

Autodesk also supports these products via Boot Camp, part of Mac OS X that lets you install and run Windows (and Windows-based applications) on a Mac.

 

If you still have unanswered questions or are having trouble, do not hesitate to contact us! Call us at 888-768-7568 or shoot us an email support@microsolresources.com.

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V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max is now available!

V-Ray for 3ds Max is an Academy Award-winning, production-proven rendering software. Known for its versatility and ability
to handle any type of project, V-Ray is considered an industry-standard in architecture, advertising, design, and visual effects.

WHAT’S NEW IN V-RAY 5 FOR 3DS MAX?

V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max is the most complete 3D rendering software for artists and designers. V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max’s modern and efficient material library workflow, faster look-development with material presets, and flexible post-processing features can save users time, take them beyond just rendering and help them focus on artistic exploration — from a single creation tool.

KEY FEATURES IN V-RAY 5 FOR 3DS MAX

Light Mixing

Light Mix

Explore lighting possibilities interactively in real-time. Use LightMix in the new  V-Ray Frame Buffer to freely experiment with lighting changes after you render, save out permutations, and push back improvements you’d like to have in your scene.

Layered Compositing

Layered Compositing

The new Layer compositor lets you fine-tune and finish your images directly in the new V-Ray Frame Buffer — without the need for a separate post-processing app.

Material Manager

Material Library and Browser

Efficiently browse from a library of over 500 render-ready materials
including metals, glass, wood, and more.

Material Presets

Hair_Presets

Save time creating common materials with presets for aluminum, chrome, glass, and more. Presets for most used hair colors have also been added.

Material Previews

MaterialPreviews

New rendered material swatches show you exactly what your materials will look like.

Coat Layer

Material_New_Coat_Layer

Add reflective coatings directly in the updated V-Ray Material, saving you both material creation and rendering time vs. using Blend material.

Sheen Layer

Material_Sheen_Layer

Create soft microfiber fabrics like velvet, satin, and silk with the new Sheen options in the updated V-Ray Material.

Texture Randomization

Randomization Options

Add variety to your scene with the new VRayUVWRandomizer map and enhanced VRayMultiSubTex controls.

Stochastic Texture Tiling

Stochastic Tiling

Automatically remove texture tiling artifacts with the new Stochastic tiling option on the VRayUVWRandomizer.

Extended V-Ray Dirt

ExtendedVRayDirt

Weathered streaks and dirt in crevices are easy with the enhanced V-Ray Dirt, which now employs both ambient and inner occlusion.

New Sun and Sky Model

Improved_Sun_and_Sky

Reproduce the subtleties of twilight when the sun is below the horizon with the new Sun and Sky model.

Other Features in V-Ray 5 Include

  • Light path expressions. Use the behavior of light, rather than just geometry, to produce flexible masks for very efficient compositing. Built-in presets make getting started easy, while scripting is there for ultimate control.
  • Blue-Noise sampling.  Achieve better noise distribution with fewer samples.
  • Native ACEScg support. Select industry-standard ACEScg for rendering with automatic color space adjustment for textures, dispersion, sun & sky, and light temperature colors.
  • Initial out-of-core. Initial out-of-core implementation to handle your largest scenes.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE V-RAY 5 FOR 3DS MAX?

  • The redefined V-Ray Frame Buffer means users can now use one tool for rendering and basic compositing without going back and forth between different apps.
  • Access to the material library means users can jump-start their custom materials in no time.
  • Users can automate their lighting and shading process with a selection of tools and presets for faster results with fewer clicks.
  • The latest V-Ray GPU enhancements in V-Ray 5 allow users to fully utilize their hardware for maximum performance.
  • V-Ray 5 introduces even quicker ways to handle tasks, such as with the newly added material presets.
  • Artists can now manipulate different lighting scenarios interactively and even after rendering, without having to render again.
  • Users can easily avoid seams in their textures with texture randomizations.

If you would like to upgrade your V-Ray Next for 3ds Max licenses to V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max, please contact us at vray@microsolresources.com.

If you are not sure about upgrading your licenses, you can request a free 30-day trial, to get an overview of its new features and functionality.  You can test it out with your team and find out how this new version will improve your workflow.

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